Atlas XH-1 Alpha: The Rooivalks Forgotten Father

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Atlas XH-1 Alpha

Hello and welcome to my suggestion for the XH-1 Alpha! An often forgotten piece of South African Aviation History that was used as a concept demonstrator for the later Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. I feel this could come to game perhaps as a Rank 5 event vehicle for the UK.



The XH-1 was developed as a private venture by Atlas Aviation (now Denel) to show the potential behind a future domestic South African Attack helicopter, the Airframe itself was based of off the Aérospatiale Alouette III and retained most of its features, including the engine. However the Alpha differed from the Alouette III by having the Cockpit changed to a Tandem Seat configuration, the Undercarriage being modified to make the helicopter a Tail dragger and, most importantly, a 20mm GA-1 Cannon was added under the Cockpit of the Airframe.

The Alpha first took flight in early February 1985 and subsequently went through rigorous testing to ensure the Viability of a future domestic South African Attack Helicopter programme. Throughout the tests the Alpha performed well enough to convince Atlas and most importantly the South African Air Force to pursue the development of a Domestic Attack Helicopter, the Denel Rooivalk.

The only XH-1 Airframe was retired in the late 80s and was handed over to the South African Air and Space Museum, where it stays to this day.

Specs/ Armament


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Gunner)
  • Length: 10.56 m (34 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,200 kg (4,850 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, 410 kW (550 hp)
  • Main rotor diameter: 11.02 m (36 ft 2 in)
  • Main rotor area: 95.4 m2 (1,027 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 210 km/h (130 mph, 110 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 185 km/h (115 mph, 100 kn)
  • Combat range: 275 km (171 mi, 148 nmi)
  • Rate of climb: 4.1 m/s (800 ft/min)


  • Guns: 1 × Vektor GA-1 Rattler 20mm cannon in a chin turret with 1,000 rounds



Alpha on display at the South African Air and Space Museum

Forward Cockpit of the Alpha


The Alpha During trials in the Late 80s


Alpha on one of its earliest flights


Alpha on display next to the Rooivalk Prototype in 1992

Place in Game


I feel this should come to game perhaps as an Event vehicle for Britain, due to the Fact that it only has a single 20mm cannon as armament this would be rather obsolete in Ground battles and would not be great in Heli EC and therefore probably would not suit best as a Tech Tree helicopter

in terms of BR the Alpha would probably sit somewhere around 7.7 given its lack of armament and the fact that it would require a player with a decent amount of skill to use as its performance is not great either. However I do strongly feel this should come to game as it is one of the First domestically made helicopters by South Africa and I feel we need more South African representation outside of the Ground line anyway.



Atlas XH-1 Alpha - Wikipedia
Denel CSH-2 Rooivalk
Atlas/Denel Alpha XH-1 | Wings Over New Zealand


+1 Very nice

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+1 Cool

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